Friday, June 10, 2016

The Petronas Twin Towers and a Ramadan Market in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Lydia wrote this post and my hilarious yet informative quips will appear in [brackets].

We left Myanmar early this morning and caught a plane to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Back to the real world!

[I had like $5 in Myanmar doubloons left over and I thought I'd buy something from this enterprising lady sitting outside the airport. Well by the time I got to her I realized she was selling tea. I regarded drinking Myanmar tap water as being about as healthy as drinking lava so I hoped she was selling something, anything else. She had some gum and hard candies. Great. So I gathered this mound of green apple guava candies and asked her how much. "$1". Nope, $5. Bye lady. These chairs that are about one foot off of the ground were common at outdoor eateries.] 

[I don't know what the deal is but some countries just really like fumigating planes.]

Like the rest of Southeast Asia, the airport in Kuala Lumpur is basically just one big mall. We stopped by the grocery store on our way out and stocked up on all the Malaysian goodies we could find. Durian, which I’ve mentioned in previous posts, is a stinky fruit native to this region, and the people here love to put in everything. At the store we got durian chocolate and durian cakes. John also got some pickled nutmeg.

[This was interesting because it was the outer shell of the nutmeg that had been pickled. Very interesting. It sort of reminded me of the pickled ginger you get with sushi.]

In the likely event that all those things sucked, we also got a green tea Kit Kat and a Crunchy.

Once we checked in to the Renaissance Hotel, we dug into all our treats, and as expected, the Kit Kat and the Crunchy were great, but the rest was really bad.

[Not a bad view from the hotel window.]

[Lydia liked to look out of it in dramatic fashion.]

[Luckily the hotel had some common sense durian control measures in place. They didn't want that nasty fruit to stink up the whole building.]

We walked off our candy as we headed towards the Petronas Twin Towers. The towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 when they were surpassed by Taiwan's Tapei 101. Locals call the towers the Corn Cobs or the Coin Stacks.

In between the towers is, I bet you can guess, a mall! We were a little disappointed in the food selection – it was pretty much all chicken and rice. So that’s what we ate.

[They had one of my favorite coin squishing machines!]


For dessert we tried the popular Malaysian dessert, Ais Kacang, otherwise known as ABC. It’s made of shaved ice flavored with brown sugar syrup, roasted peanuts, and evaporated milk. The toppings vary but ours had creamed corn, red beans, and grass jelly. The ice was good, the toppings were not.


[One of the jellies legit looked like worms. Worst shaved ice ever.]

[We've seen these Japanese hand cranked shaved ice machines in a few countries now. I didn't realize this was such a thing.]

I thought the long line of people waiting to eat at Chili’s was amusing.

We spent the rest of the afternoon sipping drinks by the pool. Our hotel in Kuala Lumpur is pretty great, and the pool has a nice view.

[The pool bar was serving drinks in glass which is like pool heresy.]

Once we reached our capacity for relaxation, we walked to the Kampung Baru neighborhood for a Ramadan festival. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, so as soon as the sun goes down they begin feasting. The sun went down at 7:22, and we figured the festival would go for several hours after that, but by the time we arrived around 9pm, the place was already closing down. Oh well, it was a good walk and nice to see what was happening after dark.

Since we didn’t get to eat at the festival, we ordered Dominos. When John ordered pepperoni, the lady asked if we wanted chicken or beef pepperoni. So fun, so fun.

[When I laid on the bed I realized there was a little arrow stuck to the ceiling. It's the direction of Mecca.]

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